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R4W Chief Exec helps propel Welsh events industry forward

Run 4 Wales Chief Exec, Matt Newman, has been working with Event Wales to help propel its National Event Strategy forward for Wales through the power of sport.

Recently the Event Wales Industry Advisory Group met at the Welsh Government offices in Cathays to discuss the implementation of its National Events Strategy for the next six years.

The advisory group, which includes key players from the sports, business and arts & culture events world, as well as local authorities, was initially brought together to navigate the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recognising the positive impact that working together has in sharing ideas and navigating the challenges in the sector, the group has committed to join forces with the common goal of delivering the National Events Strategy – establishing Wales as a stage for outstanding events that support the wellbeing of its people, place and the planet.

Matt, as Chair of the Sports Events Sector Group, has the aim of continuing to build Wales as a major destination for sporting events, developing links in the UK and around the world.

He was brought into the group after working to help establish MSO Cymru – a group for mass participation sporting event organisers in Wales to collaborate, promote the nation’s leading running, cycling and triathlon events and work on common goals such as sustainability in the sector.  It came after Run 4 Wales was invited as the only Welsh company to join the UK-wide MSO group.

As Chair of the Sports Events Sector Group for Event Wales, Matt now works closely with stadium groups and sporting governing bodies.

Matt said: “This week the group met to look at how we can work together to take forward the National Event Strategy for Wales for 2022-2030. It was a fantastic chance to come together, look at what we’re doing and meet with Ruth Meadows as the new Head of Event Wales.

“There are so many benefits to being part of the group. We have some fantastic events and the work we’ve done at Run 4 Wales in particular, in terms of our environmental, social and governance plans as well as our focus on our equality, diversity and inclusion goals, shares a lot of common ground with the other event organisers and allows us to highlight and work on best practice.”

Another goal the group are also working on is showcasing Wales on the international stage. This is an area Run 4 Wales has been growing through the Principality Cardiff Half Marathon.

Matt added: “It’s really exciting that we’re able to use the power of sport to build wider relationships and add to the economic prosperity in Wales.

“The Cardiff Half Marathon is an event that has been attracting overseas participants for several years – particularly since we won the bid to host the World Half Marathon in 2016 and joined the SuperHalf Series in 2019.

“The event allows visitors to experience the best of Wales as a destination and has helped to establish new links with Germany, a key territory for Wales, with Berlin joining the series this year. It also allows for Wales to be continuously promoted throughout the year at the other races in the series – Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen and Valencia.

“Our 2024 event already has more than 2,500 international runners signed up and with around 40,000 people from across the globe embarking on their SuperHalfs journey, we’re only expecting to see that number grow.”

The Event Wales Industry Advisory Group will continue to meet quarterly to ensure the exciting chapter for Wales continues.

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